Each year for countless generations in England, Morris dancers and other good-hearted folks who want to ensure a fine apple crop have wassailed the apple orchards. They bring song, dance and Important Rituals to the orchard, thereby scaring off evil spirits and creating the optimum growing environment for the blessed apple. Ten years ago, Seattle’s own Sound and Fury Morris Dancers introduced this tradition to Wallingford, starting an annual wassail tradition at Meridian Park’s old orchard.
This year, the Morris dancers and the community of neighbors who joins them will have an Especially Important Task – to inspire this previously-fallen-and-recently-righted 100 year old apple tree (known officially as AP 15) to grow once more and be fruitful!
Tree steward, fruit lover and Wallyhood writer Barb let us know about AP 15’s sad plight. November’s heavy winds blew it and a sister tree over. City crews were able to return AP 15 to its upright position and cable it in place, with hopes that it will re-root and flourish once more. Its sister tree (AP 16) has gone to the great compost bin in the sky. Barb let us know that it could be as many as TWO years before they know if the righted tree will survive.
This makes it even more important that as many neighbors as possible join in the jolly Wassail – coming to Meridian Park on Saturday, January 10th, at 1:30 pm. The Sound and Fury Morris dancers, who will be joined by other Morris dancers from across the Northwest, will be there in rain or in sun. Neighbors are welcome to join them in singing traditional wassailing songs, dancing, raising a toast to the trees and generally making merry. Apple cider and apple cake will be provided.